Remembering Dan

Dan Allen was more than just a football coach. He was a leader, a mentor, and a positive role model for many young men throughout his coaching career. Coach Allen believed in FAMILY. Many coaches use the cliche of “family”, but Coach Allen truly lived it. He considered everyone involved in the football program a member of the team, and the team was FAMILY.

Dan grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and spent his entire life either playing or coaching sports. He was an exceptional athlete in all sports, but football was where he stood out the most. He started playing football as an eight year old and had dedicated and caring Pop Warner coaches who sparked his interest with their time and influence. Dan attended Purcell High School in Cincinnati, and then later starred at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana. During his Senior season at Hanover, Dan received the MVP Award, Best Defensive Player Award, and the Dutch Struck Mental Attitude Award.

After graduating from Hanover, Dan had an unsuccessful tryout with the Atlanta Falcons which led to the start of his coaching career at the University of Dayton as a graduate assistant, earning his Masters Degree in the process. Over the next few years, Dan returned to Hanover as an assistant football coach and wrestling coach. His next stop was at Mariemont High School in Cincinnati, where he was an assistant football coach, JV Head Coach, and coached the Junior High track and wrestling teams.

In 1982, Coach Rick Carter recruited Dan to be an assistant coach at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Over the course of eight years, Dan coached the defensive line, running backs, quarterbacks, kickers, and worked his way to be the Offensive Coordinator. While at Holy Cross, Dan founded the college's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, and initiated a program for football student-athletes to visit sick children in area hospitals.

In 1990, Dan got his first Head Football Coaching job at Boston University. In 1992, Dan coached BU to the school's first undefeated season (11-0 regular season). BU defeated the Kurt Warner led Northern Iowa in double overtime in the Division 1-AA playoffs, before losing to the University of Idaho in the second round. The BU Terriers followed their '93 performance with a 9-3 regular season record in 1994, and played Eastern Kentucky in the first round of the 1-AA playoffs. The 1993 and 1994 seasons were the best back-to-back seasons in BU school history.

The 1993 football season produced many awards and accomplishments, including:

  • Eastman Kodak 1-AA National Coach of the Year Award
  • The Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, bored on by 1-AA Sports Writers
  • New England Coach of the Year
  • Yankee Conference Coach of the Year
  • New England Sports Writers Coach of the Year
  • Yankee Conference Champions
  • ECAC Division 1-AA Team & Coach of the Year
  • Lambert Cup Champions
  • New England Team of the Year
  • Special Recognition Award by the BU Hall of Fame for Outstanding Coaching Accomplishments
  • The Murray Lewis Award for lifeline contribution to college football
  • The American College Football Association Award

After the 1995 season, Dan was recruited to return to Holy Cross as the Head Football Coach. Dan was coach of Holy Cross for the 1996 season through the 2003 season. After the 2000 season, Dan was once again selected as the New England Coach of the Year.

In 2002, Dan was inducted into the Hanover College Hall of Fame for football and baseball.

In 2004, Dan received the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston's John Baronian Award for his contributions to college coaching.

In 2001, Dan was exposed to a toxic chemical, which triggered an early onset of ALS. For three years Dan courageously fought, but succumbed to the disease on May 16, 2004 surrounded by his family.

In a testament to the impact that he had on people, and the football community, Dan received many posthumous awards:

  • ECAC Alumni Award of Valor
  • The National Football Foundation, Joseph R. Mewhiney Chapter Distinguished Service to Central Massachusetts Football Award
  • The All-American Football Foundation Johnny Vaught Head Coach Award, for Outstanding Performance in Football
  • Purcell High School Brother Schroeder Award (Outstanding Among All)

“Well done, good and faithful servant” — Matthew 25:23

Coach Allen's Gameday Prayer.